13 March 2016

Ben is one of YMCA East Surrey’s shining stars and recently starred on prime time TV on BBC2 on Let’s Play Darts for Sport Relief when Chris Kamara (Sky Sports presenter and football analyst) came to YMCA East Surrey to find out more about our work with young people with disabilities.

Catch the programme here on BBC iPlayer (we’re on at 32:10)

“As a teenager with Down’s syndrome, I wanted to meet new people and become more active, so I started going along to YMCA East Surrey’s Sports and Social club in Redhill. Although I was nervous at first, I really enjoy spending time with others and the club helped me to develop my passion for a variety of sports.

More recently, I’ve become involved with the YMCA’s OnSide inclusive sports scheme. OnSide provides opportunities for young people to participate in a range of sports and work towards leadership awards.

The YMCA team suggested that volunteering would be a great step towards achieving my goal of finding
paid work, and my family and support network agreed.

I’ve now taken part in volunteer training sessions, had an introduction to first aid, undertaken sports
leadership and multi-sports training, been on residential trips and am a trained Level 1 cricket coach.
Helping other people makes me feel good about myself.

Young people with a disability are twice as likely to be inactive than other people and I know how much
taking part in sport has helped me. My confidence is growing all the time. I’ve gained greater independence and am now in supported living accommodation. I want to encourage other people to be the best that they can be.”

Click here to donate and support our work with young people like Ben

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